When the Sun goes down…

… the lights come out!

It has been a couple of weeks since my previous photography trip and I was itching to get out into the open world again! For my latest trip I decided to go out during the darker hours to try and get some interesting shots of lit architecture & structures. I began my journey from Fenchurch Street Station walking past the Tower of London & across Tower Bridge (something I usually make a habit of when I am in London). The bridge itself is exquisite at night, the lighting is very soft and allows the shadows to really bring it to life, I always have a sense of wonderment while gazing up at the bridge and across the water towards City Hall with The Shard in the background. Unfortunately I didn’t get too many shots of the bridge from where I wanted, the amount of people walking past makes it impossible to effectively place a tripod, so I took just this one from the Southbank.

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There was a blanket layer of brown clouds in the sky tonight so I didn’t take too many pictures of buildings which involved including the sky. On the brief occasion when the clouds parted, providing enough time to set up the tripod and explore possible angles, I managed to get a couple of shots, although not as many as I would have liked. Most of my photography was therefore focused within the boarders of the structures themselves, which I found to be quite a challenge. This shot was one which I managed to get during a cloudless minute or two.

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I have realised, during my attempts at minimal photography, that the sky is a very useful asset, possibly a way of cheating. It provides me with what I consider to be a blank canvas on one side which helps towards the “minimal” theme. Due to this, I have been questioning whether my photos of buildings are indeed minimal, or if they are more “geometric”, possibly a mixture of the two.

London Bridge, below, is always colourful at night time.

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I wanted to experiment with the way the light hits extruded parts of buildings and thus throws shadows, sometimes as a gradient, other times in total darkness, over the rest. While taking pictures in these situations I wondered whether I considered the lit area of my frame the most important aspect, or whether the shadows played the most important and dominating role. Certainly the shadows gave significant definition and a harsh contrast to the lit areas of the building, or was I just using it to try and create a fake sky, another blank canvas to make my images seem more minimal? I think I will leave that for the individual to decide.

The photos below are good examples of the use of shadow as the blank canvas.

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Geometry within architecture has been a very influential part of my recent photography. This next photograph has so many shapes happening I don’t think it can be considered minimal, however, the use of the same material, rivets & colour throughout provide the image with some redeeming minimal features. As I was taking the photos of Southwark Bridge I was very aware of a person watching me, and finally a man and woman approached, they asked me a few questions about my photography and if I would mind if they “stole” my shot of the bridge by taking some of their own, of course I didn’t object and thus we formed a small photography hotspot along the Thames. Many of the passers by must have thought we were mad (or just British) to be taking pictures of the underneath of a bridge.

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This second bridge photo is actually my favourite of the night. It certainly isn’t the strongest, but there is something about it which I think for me sums up the trip.

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Overall the trip was good fun, I think I got some nice photographs and although they are not the strongest I have taken I feel they have turned out really well. I am looking forward to trying out some future night time shots and explore the use of shadows further. I will also make sure there is no brown cloud cover on my next night time trip so I can get some ground level cityscapes.

Thanks for stopping by. Check out my updated website at www.visuallyinteresting.co.uk and have a photographically good New Year!

Tom out!

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4 thoughts on “When the Sun goes down…

  1. I really really like photo number 2, there is something almost etherial about it. Amazing shot. The last picture is very elegant also. I want to try some night shots. The only time I have tried thus far they have been of lights which kind of defeats the object!

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    • Thanks Leanne, always a pleasure to see you have commented 😀 I think number 2 is very CGI looking. I found the night time shooting to be very hard, but it was nice to be out and about at that time with all the lights. People always seem to be in less of a hurry as well, as if the only purpose of being out is purely for the being out, which I like. Make sure you get yourself a nice tripod if you haven’t already 😀

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    • Thank you for the kind words michele! I’m looking forward to some more night time photography in the future 🙂

      Like

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